RINGGOLD - Call it courage. Or justice, or karma, or law of averages, or maybe big dumb luck.
CARTERSVILLE - Top-seeded Cartersville came into its first-round playoff matchup with West Hall ranked No. 2 in the state with a perfect 10-0 record and an average margin of victory of more than 40 points per game.
Gainesville coach Bruce Miller wasted little time congratulating his defense for a job well done after it held on for a 28-14 victory against M.L. King and the big passing arm of its quarterback, Roland Rivers, on Friday at City Park Stadium.
For the second straight year, homefield advantage and a higher seeding didn't provide any help for Flowery Branch.
Chestatee overcame a shaky opening quarter and ended up making history on Friday night at War Eagles Stadium.
CLEVELAND - The No. 2-seed White County Warriors defeated the no. 3-seed Adairsville Tigers 52-28 on Friday night in the first round of the state AAA playoffs.
Jefferson opened its Class AA state title defense Friday night with a 28-0 win over Westminster in the first round of the state playoffs.
BUFORD - The offense that moved with ease all year did so again. The defense that gave up yards grudgingly throughout the regular season was just as stingy in the first round of the state playoffs.
Union County ended its season with a 6-5 record after a 56-21 to Lovett, the No. 1 seed from Region 6-AA, in the first round of the state playoffs on Friday night.
Blessed Trinity defeated Jackson County 41-14 in their first-round Class AAA state playoff game Friday in Roswell.
Deshaun Watson was glad to get Thursday morning behind him. Gainesville's starting quarterback, and the state's all-time leading passer, was finally able to sign a financial aid award letter with Clemson University, officially making him a Tiger.
Last season, Hall County's two newest schools celebrated their 10-year anniversaries by both hosting first-round state playoff football games.
After enduring eight losing seasons in the past 10 years, West Hall will make its return to the playoffs tonight with a visit to second-ranked Cartersville.
M.L. King at Gainesville
At this time last season, Gainesville High appeared to be a football team in free fall.
SUGAR HILL - Messiah Dorsey is done with it.
Jefferson's Colby Wood tallied 115 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns as the fourth-ranked Dragons rolled to a 51-16 victory against Morgan County on Friday in Madison.
Buford topped the 50-point mark for the fourth time this season Friday night in a 56-0 win over North Hall.
Lakeview saw its two-game win streak ended Friday in a 34-14 loss to George Walton Academy in Monroe.
Riverside Military Academy fell to Washington-Wilkes 13-10 on Friday at Maginnis Field in Gainesville.
Once West Hall took the lead, Kwon Williams wasn't about to let the Spartans give it away.
There wasn't a lot of mystery with what went wrong after a promising start for Flowery Branch on Friday.
Senior running back Trevor O'Brien muffed the opening kickoff, then picked it up and ran 72 yards.
Fumbles plagued the Panthers in a messy 42-13 loss to Elbert County on Friday in Jefferson.
Towns County was shut out by Athens Christian 46-0 Friday night in Athens.
Stephens County defeated White County 30-10 on Friday night in Toccoa.
Chestatee fell on the road to Madison County 49-28 on Friday in Danielsville.
DAWSONVILLE- East Hall picked up its first Region 7-AAA win in a hotly-contested game against Dawson County on Friday night, holding on for a 36-29 victory.
At least it's over.
Lakeview Academy's Tae Turner is a do-it-all kind of player.